The European Commission is coordinating a common European response to the coronavirus outbreak.
All information can be found via this link.
In response to the coronavirus outbreak, CEN, the European Committee for Standardization, and CENELEC, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization, agreed, in collaboration with all their Members and after the urgent request from the European Commission, to make freely available a series of European standards (ENs) for medical devices and personal protective equipment used in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
EC guidelines to manufacturers for important COVID-19 items
The Commission made available guidance to assist manufacturers in ramping up production of essential medical equipment and material in three areas:
- The production of masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Leave-on hand cleaners and hand disinfectants
- 3D printing in the context of the coronavirus outbreak
A Guidance on medical devices is also available. More information and the Guidance can be found on the European Commission website.
Regulation on certificates for PPE by the European Safety Federation.
AI European Alliance: AI-ROBOTICS vs COVID-19 initiative
An initiative to collect ideas about deployable Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics solutions as well as information on other initiatives that could help face the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
More information: AI-Robotics vs COVID-19 initiative
European Commission: “COVID-19 Clinical Management Support System”
This system helps to create rapid connections across Europe among the hospitals indicated by the Member States as reference centres for COVID-19. Clinicians can rely on a dedicated helpdesk managed by DG SANTE to set up web conferences and exchange with their peers in Europe on possible treatments, and on how to handle severe and complex cases.
For more information and for joining the system please send an e-mail.
Updated guidelines: procurement in relation to COVID crisis
The European Commission has released new guidance for public buyers to help public authorities use the flexibility provided by the EU’s public procurement framework to ensure rapid and efficient purchases of all necessary equipment.The possibilities range from considerably shortening the public procurement process to emergency procurement that is not subject to EU procedural requirements and does not require the prior publication of tender notices. The guidance also recommends that public buyers consider alternative innovative solutions and ways of engaging with the market. Check HERE.
Financing by promotional banks and institutions
Promotional Banks and Institutions as well as guarantee institutions are providing support to companies with the overall economic public policy goal that no job be lost due to the current crisis, and that no company should become bankrupt due to the liquidity problems caused by this crisis.
The actors are members of:
- AECM - European Association of Guarantee Institutions http://www.aecm.eu
- ELTI - European Association of Long-Term Investors http://www.eltia.eu
- NEFI - Network of European Financial Institutions for SMEs http://www.nefi.eu
Have a look on each institution’s website to check measures in place.
Freely available ISO standards
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) have compiled a list of freely available, relevant international standards to support global efforts in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.
Commission and European Investment Fund (part of EIB Group) unlock €8 billion in finance for 100,000 small and medium-sized businesses
The European Commission has unlocked €1 billion from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) that will serve as a guarantee to the European Investment Fund (EIF), part of the European Investment Bank Group. This will allow the EIF to issue special guarantees to incentivise banks and other lenders to provide liquidity to at least 100,000 European SMEs and small mid-cap companies hit by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, for an estimated available financing of €8 billion.
These measures will bring immediate relief to hard-hit SMEs, with money able to flow already in April. It is part of the package of measures announced by the EIB Group on 16 March designed to rapidly mobilise support for Europe's SMEs and mid-caps.
A sudden lack of liquidity is one of the direct economic consequences of the Corona pandemic for SMEs. This makes them extremely vulnerable and it is essential to support them in this crisis situation with appropriate measures. The new features will be accessible to both new and existing financial intermediaries.
More information: Commission and European Investment Fund unlock €8 billion
EU toolbox for the use of mobile applications for contact tracing and warning in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The toolbox is part of a common coordinated approach to support the gradual lifting of confinement measures, as set out in the Commission Recommendation.
The European Commission together with the European Bioinformatics Institute of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL-EBI), the Elixir infrastructure and the COMPARE project, as well as the EU Member States and other partners launched a European COVID-19 Data Platform to enable the rapid collection and sharing of available research data. The platform, part of the ERAvsCorona Action Plan, will provide an open, trusted, and scalable European and global environment where researchers can store and share datasets, such as DNA sequences, protein structures, data from pre-clinical research and clinical trials, as well as epidemiological data.
Support for healthcare systems in EU member states:
- The Emergency Support Instrument will help fund urgent medical supply needs, such as masks and respirators, the transportation of medical equipment and patients in cross-border regions, the deployment of healthcare workers to contagion hotspots, and the construction of mobile field hospitals. The Commission will be able to directly procure equipment on behalf of the EU Member States and focus help where it is most needed. The Commission is already working with Member States to identify and prioritise the most pressing needs; a Commission Task Force has been set up to manage the process. In the medium- to long-term, the EU will be able to complement Member States' mass testing efforts and medical research, with the Commission coordinating the response throughout the crisis.
medical capacity. In order to improve crisis preparedness across the EU, a European medical capacity will be created, and equipment hosted by one or several Member States. The hosting State(s) will be responsible for procuring the equipment and the Commission will finance 100% of the medical capacity. The Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre will manage the distribution of the equipment to ensure it gets where it is needed the most. The first hosting state will be Romania and the production of the first ventilators has already started.
EIT Crisis Response Initiative
- As part of the EU’s collective efforts to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, the EIT has launched the EIT Crisis Response Initiative. The EIT Governing Board has decided to mobilise EUR 60 million of additional funding to innovators powering high-impact solutions that tackle this unprecedented social and economic challenge. The financing will allow the launch of new innovation projects to address the immediate crisis as part of the ‘Pandemic Response Projects’, and will support highly innovative start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs crucial to the economy’s fast recovery to benefit from additional funding under the ‘Venture Support Instrument’.
Press release 14 May 2020